Researchers: Wild gorillas seen using tools
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Images show one female gorilla apparently using sticks to test the depth of water, another female made a bridge with a stump detached from a bush to help her cross muddy ground, and a female using a stump from a bush as support as she dug for herbs.
Thomas Breuer, of the WCS operating in the Republic of the Congo, called the discovery "truly astounding" and added that it was "quite surprising to me and my team to make this observation". Only wild chimps, orangutans, and captive gorillas were previously known to use tools, meaning that now all of the four great apes were oberserved using tools, suggesting that the usage of tools might predate the evolution of modern humans.
But, tool usage seems to be infrequent among wild gorillas. They were observed for some ten years in the Mbeli Bai area before this discovery was made.
Nevertheless, Breuer is fascinated by what he calls a "similarity" between humans and gorillas: "If you or me want to cross a swamp, we use the same solutions as gorillas."
- Thomas Breuer, Mireille Ndoundou-Hockemba, Vicki Fishlock. "First Observation of Tool Use in Wild Gorillas (includes images)" — , October 1, 2005
- John Roach. "Wild Gorillas Use Tools, Photos Reveal" — , September 30, 2005